Geostrategic Europe

Stories related to European foreign policy and Europe as a global power.

Turkey rules out support for Sweden NATO bid after Stockholm protests
The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has said that Sweden should not expect support from Ankara over its bid to join NATO following protests in Stockholm at the weekend. Surrounded by police for his protection, on Saturday (21 January) Danish-Swedish, far-right, anti-Islam activist Rasmus Paludan burned the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm while making disparaging remarks about immigrants and Islam. This incensed President Erdogan who criticised the Swedish authorities for letting the stunt happen. “It is clear that those who allowed such vileness to take place in front of our embassy can no longer expect any charity from us regarding their NATO membership application,” Erdogan said on Monday (23 January). Another bone of contention between Sweden and Turkey regarding the former's accession to NATO concerns the Kurdish question. Later on Saturday following Paludan's stunt, there was a pro-Kurdish demonstration in Stockholm where flags of various Kurdish groups were waved, including that of the Kurdish Workers' Party, or the PKK. The PKK has waged a decades-long insurgency in Turkey, and although it is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, its symbols are not banned in Sweden.
patrickn97 Mon, 01/23/2023 - 18:53 Monday Commentary: Why Central Asia matters
Very often, Central Asia is referred to as Russia’s back yard, even though today the region feels more like China’s front garden. But whilst the two “inseparable” friends, compete for influence and resources, the five Central Asian countries have set on a course to integrate themselves in global processes, break out of their geographic - and more importantly their geo-political constraints - and deliver better for their people. In this week's Monday Commentary on, Dennis Sammut says that the Central Asian states have been reaching out to the EU and the US, whilst domestically some of them have embarked on deep reforms considered all but unimaginable until recently. The visit of European Council president Charles Michel to the region on 27-28 October marked a high point in a new phase in the relationship between the EU and Central Asia. In Kazakhstan, Michel not only met the Kazakh leadership, but also held a summit with the five Central Asian leaders in Astana, before travelling to Uzbekistan. For both the Central Asians and for the EU this is a watershed moment, and the beginning of a long journey. Europe’s approach to Central Asia needs to be respectful, both to the five countries themselves, and to their existing partners. Arrogance, even of the intellectual kind will simply backfire. But respect does not mean meekness. As a heavyweight in international relations, even if for the moment its economic weight dwarfs its political weight, the EU needs to approach Central Asia neither as a supplicant, nor as a benefactor, but simply as a reliable partner. Furthermore, this partnership needs to be diverse, multi-tiered and nuanced. It must take in relations with citizens, where Europe has much to offer both in terms of being a model, but also in terms of what it can share in areas such as education, innovation, youth welfare, women’s rights and diversity.
dennis2020 Mon, 10/31/2022 - 07:35

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GEU Podcast: After Ukraine, can we still talk about soft power? - with Prof Jamie Shea
“EU soft power will still be a factor, but I think the EU now recognises that this works more with like-minded countries that aspire to join the EU... The notion that soft power works on countries with different political systems – I think that has been, if you like, the victim of the Ukrainian crisis” says Prof Jamie Shea in this episode of our Global Europe Unpacked podcast.
W.Murray Mon, 03/14/2022 - 20:01
GEU Podcast: How should the EU respond to aspiring new members? – with Ambassador David Solomonia and Prof Antoaneta Dimitrova

“Governments have to take into account that they have to talk to the public. They have to keep the people involved in this process with their different ideas and opinions, even when this is difficult, even when challenges come from the left and from the right.” – Professor Antoaneta Dimitrova

W.Murray Wed, 03/02/2022 - 10:00
Editor's choice
Editorial: Give Ukraine and the other trio countries an EU membership perspective now

Editorial: Give Ukraine and the other trio countries an EU membership perspective now

A European Parliament resolution yesterday urged EU countries to work towards granting Ukraine EU candidate status. A membership perspective in the form of candidate status is not membership. It is a political signal that the door of membership is open, and an opportunity to focus minds on all the sides to start the long and laborious process of EU membership. Whilst the resolution of the European Parliament speaks only about Ukraine, the three trio countries should be given the membership perspective and candidate status simultaneously. All three are very determined in pursuing this path; all three have strong Association Agreements with the EU; and all three are under considerable Russian pressure. A membership perspective will strengthen the hand of those working for reforms in these countries. It will also send another message to Putin's Russia that its nefarious policy towards the neighbours has failed. Now is the right time to do that. Give Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia a membership perspective now! Give them candidate status and work with them to make this an achievable task within this decade.
Read the report: 'The Hague in Europe, Europe in the World'
The Hague Conversations on the future of Europe in the World was a series of ten activities organised by LINKS Europe foundation, in association with the City of The Hague and with the support of the Hague Humanity Hub. The events were mostly held in person, with some also held online or in hybrid format, from September 2021 to February 2022 as part of the “Conference on the future of Europe” process. Read the full report here.
W.Murray Fri, 02/25/2022 - 15:32
'The EU and the Rule of Law in the Eastern Neighbourhood: the case of Ukraine'

The conference, “The EU and its Eastern Neighbourhood”, was held over three sessions at The Hague Humanity Hub in The Hague on Tuesday 23 November 2021.

W.Murray Thu, 02/24/2022 - 16:53
'The EU and conflicts in the Eastern Neighbourhood'

The conference, “The EU and its Eastern Neighbourhood”, was held over three sessions at The Hague Humanity Hub in The Hague on Tuesday 23 November 2021. Nearly one hundred people participated in all or some of the three sessions, including Ambassadors accredited to the Netherlands, representatives of international organisations, journalists, academics, civil society representatives, students and concerned citizens.

W.Murray Thu, 02/24/2022 - 16:39
'The EU’s Global Gateway: from Brussels to Bishkek and beyond'

LINKS Europe in collaboration with The City of The Hague and with the support of The Hague Humanity Hub, hosted the fourth in a series of clusters of events entitled ‘Conversations on the future of Europe in the world’ on Thursday, 20 January 2022. The event was hosted online from the LINKS Europe’s office in the The Hague. Around 35 participants joined online. The series ‘Conversations on the future of Europe in the world’ contributes to the debate in the framework of the EU’s ‘Conference on the Future of Europe’ process.

W.Murray Thu, 02/24/2022 - 16:22
Editor's choice
EU-African Union summit is crucial for both continents

EU-African Union summit is crucial for both continents

European and African leaders come together today and tomorrow for an EU-Africa summit in Brussels with the goal of solidifying the partnership between the two neighbouring continents with a number of initiatives, agreements and investment pledges. The summit comes at a critical time for both continents and its results are crucial for future relations.
Editor's choice
Young voices
Opinion: The baggage of history slows down Europe's actions in the international arena

Opinion: The baggage of history slows down Europe's actions in the international arena

As the conflict over Ukraine heats up, several political analysts have pointed to the slow initial reaction by key European states, including France and Germany, to call Russia out when it first started mobilising troops at the border, writes Jolyon Wiersum in this op-ed. Analysts of the Normative Europe Theory see a series of contradictions which lie at the heart of the EU’s difficulty in responding to outright aggression on the international stage.